Surprising new royal baby name takes the lead

Allegra is now the sixth most popular name for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's baby. Photo: Getty Images

The arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first baby is imminent and there’s a new contender among royal baby name odds.

The front-runners include more traditional names, such as Diana, Grace and Alice but bookmakers think Harry and Meghan could opt for an Italian moniker, if their newborn is a girl.

According to Ladbrokes, Allegra is now the sixth most likely name in the royal baby betting after a flood of bets over the last 24 hours have seen the bookies slash odds from 100/1 down to just 12/1.

“We're scratching our heads as to why we've seen so much interest in Allegra, but the bets are coming in thick and fast and it's been by far the most popular pick of the month with punters,” Alex Apati of Ladbrokes told Mail Online.

Princess Diana, pictured in 1995, reportedly loved the name Allegra. Photo: Getty Images

Allegra, which means joyful and lively, is reportedly one of the names Harry’s mother Princess Diana loved.

A report by the Evening Standard in 2004 claimed Diana wanted a baby daughter with her surgeon lover Hasnat Khan.

The princess told a confidante that she wanted to call her baby Allegra after her friend Lady Annabel Goldsmith mentioned the name, because she thought it was “beautiful.”

Diana and Grace are currently 6/1 on royal baby name odds, while Arthur and Elizabeth are at 8/1.

Other favourites if the child is a boy also include James, Edward and Philip.

Some fans are convinced they have discovered the infant’s name and gender thanks to a telltale glitch on the Royal Family website.

Other favourites if the child is a boy also include James, Edward and Philip. Photo: Getty Images

Three pages have been set up on the Buckingham Palace site, reserved for a 'Prince Alexander', a 'Prince Arthur', and a 'Prince James'.

Those who made the secretive discovery also tried the same URL tactic with the top pick for a baby girl, but no pages have been created.

The plot thickened when Buckingham Palace released a statement refuting the speculation, and claimed the web development was not unusual.

"A large number of search term redirects were set up some time ago on royal.uk. This was in order to improve user experience," they said in a statement.

Reporting by Danielle Stacey

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